“1960s TV Censorship and The Monkees” gives a brief overview of where censorship standards were in the era – and how The Monkees pushed the envelope with its mentions of the Vietnam War – and Sunset Strip riots – and even with the outrageous storytelling behind “Frodis Caper”, the episode that celebrated the saving of an alien plant that very closely resembled a marijuana plant…
Writer Treva Silverman said the staff got away with such jokes because the network executives were just old enough not to understand any of the references.
Presented at Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting classes on Friday, August 5, 2016
This is really scary. How much different things get censored and you don’t know why. Judgment at Nuremberg is a very famous play. It was on Playhouse 90. It was on television. It’s about the Nazi death camp trials. In the entire run of that play on television they never used the word gas, because the American Gas Association, which advertised on television, asked them not to or they would pull their advertising. So we never mentioned that that was the way that many thousands of people were killed. So that’s the kind of censorship you don’t even think is going on. Likewise, and now I’m moving a little into the 70’s with Maude, but just to think about it, Maude was the first character on television to ever have an abortion by choice. Because it had been legalized in New York. it was not yet federally legalized, but in New York at the time it was. And she was about 44 years old and they went though the whole “I feel like I’m too old to have a baby. It’s not going to safe, etc, etc.” No one had an abortion on television until Christina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy just a few years ago. No one was going to allow a female character to make that choice.
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About Dr. Rosanne Welch
Dr. Rosanne Welch is a professor in the Low Residency MFA in Screenwriting Program from Stephens College, California State University, Fullerton, Mount San Antonio Community College and Cal Poly Pomona. In 2007, she graduated with her Ph.D. in 20th Century U.S./Film History from Claremont Graduate University. She graduated with her M.A. in 20th Century United States History from California State University, Northridge in 2004.
Welch is also a television writer/producer with credits for Beverly Hills 90210 , CBS’s Emmy winning Picket Fences and Touched By An Angel . She also writes and hosts her own podcasts on 3rdPass.media, her first one titled “Mindful(I) Media with Dr. Rosanne Welch.”
Three Ring Circus: How Real Couples Balance Marriage, Work and Kids and The Encyclopedia of Women in Aviation and Space are two books she has written. Los Angeles Times and the Journal of Screenwriting hold some of her published articles.